To get to the actual start of the tunnel it is a minor detour from the footpath as there is no access through the tunnel (345.6m) but you have to take the path over the top original used by the horses used to pull the boats.
|On the horse trail|
The path was incredibly muddy after all the recent rainfall. When we reached the other end of the tunnel the canal is still empty and overgrown.
The footpath follows the old tow path and at one point someone has carved a couple of seats out of logs. As it was very wet and the logs were mossy no-one fancied a sit down. A bit further on the canal is cut by the A590 which poses a major headache for complete restoration.
The next section between bridges 173 and 172 is scheduled to be cleared out of its infill in the summer of 2012. Hopefully it can then join the extant canal which stops at bridge 172:
The route then took us across the fields towards Stainton and Dreamland which has a lovely packhorse bridge across the river:
We then continued up the lane and across a lot more fields all in the continual rain and mud:
It was a good feeling to cross under the main West Coast railway line and get back to Hincaster. This would definitely be a much more fun walk on a drier day!